When I was younger, my mom would take me on errands with her. Sometimes I’d wait in the car and sometimes I’d walk around stores with her. She’d often take much longer than I liked, and I’d sigh loudly in the hopes that she would get the hint and finish up quicker. I’d grit my teeth in frustration. “Don’t you know you’re wasting my time?” I’d want to say to her.
As I got older, I found that I often had similar encounters with God. He doesn’t make me wait in physical places, but He makes my soul wait. He lets my heart wrestle over things it wants and protest against what it believes should belong to me.
God keeps me on His time, and at times it is oh so frustrating.
Even though I have made it through past waiting periods and found unbelievable goodness on the other side, I still often sigh loudly, grit my teeth, and ask God, “Don’t you know you’re wasting my time?”
But, as I must constantly remind myself, God does not waste our time. He is the Creator of time, and a creator does not waste. Instead, He has every moment planned out. Psalm 139 lovingly reminds us, “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed” (NLT). God alone knows how and why every moment should be filled. The timelines of our lives rest in His hands.
So whether we’re waiting for our next relationship, the next step in our career, or just something new to excite us, we can look to God for reassurance that we can trust His timing. Even though it can be so easy to grow restless and lose faith during these periods, God asks us to wait because He knows better than us. He sees what lies beyond the waiting and needs us to trust that what’s there is good.
I write this message as someone who desperately needs to remember it. I’m currently in one of the hardest chapters of my life. I am one year out of college, and I am nowhere I thought I’d be. People all around me are moving on to new adventures and big accomplishments. Engagements, job offers, pregnancy announcements, and grad school acceptances are flooding my social media timelines. And I can’t help but ask, am I the only one that’s stuck?
This question floods my thoughts every day. I’ve whispered it to God in my weakest moments and shouted it at Him in my most frustrated. When does MY next chapter start? I’m flipping through endless blank pages, and I’m losing faith that God has something else planned for me.
But the problem isn’t that I’m waiting on God. God isn’t disadvantaging me by keeping me in this seemingly in-between period of life.
The problem with waiting only arises when I fail to acknowledge what this period of life truly offers me. My perspective is what needs to change.
You see, what you and I so often forget is that waiting periods aren’t just bridges that connect the parts of life we actually enjoy. They don’t show up as detours to delay us from where we’re actually meant to be. God isn’t withholding good things from us when He keeps us waiting.
Truthfully, God offers us opportunities for growth and abundant life in those days spent waiting. All of those fruits God calls us to produce − love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control − can be produced even when we’re not sure what comes next. We don’t need to put life on hold just because we’re waiting for the next thing in in our journey. God is seeking us out every single day; we can do so much to advance His Kingdom and our relationship with Him no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in.
Despite my own struggles with remembering this, God promises over and over in Scripture that His plans are good and worth waiting on.
“He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake.” Psalm 23:3
“For this God is our God for ever and ever, He will be our guide even to the end.” Psalm 48:14
“You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted, you encourage them, and you listen to their cry.” Psalm 10:17
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer.” 2 Samuel 22:2
“For He makes everything beautiful in its own time.” Ecclesiastes 3:11
There are countless similar messages in the Bible: God is our guide. He leads us through life and delivers us from bad places. This means God is still with us in the waiting periods. He does not leave us in the car while He runs errands and say, “I’ll be right back.” He’s right there with us, guiding us along to where we need to be. Even if it takes a little longer to get there. Sometimes it’s harder to see Him when we can’t see what comes next; but we have to trust that He’s still there, leading us to beautiful things.
This was a guest post by the lovely Rachel Harclerode. You can find her @rachharclerode.